Concept: Utility hidden in Beauty
In his travel guide Newes Itinerarium Italiae of 1627, which summarizes the experiences of his eleven-year stay in Italy, fortress buildings are the most frequently depicted and described architecture. For him, fortress buildings are proof of the exemplary nature of Italian excellence architecture. Further he says that the Italians have the two most important points for the construction of fortresses: being very wealthy and particularly shrewd. Also they have lots of good material for construction such as sand and stone. He also depicts that he noticed, after long discourses in the many academias around Italy, that they have indeed deep knowledge and expertise in construction of fortresses. They fortresses are made of well fired bricks which withstand every rifle shot. This can be found on page 154 of Newes Itinerarium Italiae: where he conducted „vil discursi auff ansehenlichen Aca-demien“… „da man an man-chen Orten so mannlich unnd unauffhörlich mit dem groben Geschütz auff ihre Mawren geschossen/ und dasselbig vil Wochen lang continuirt, die kondte man dannoch nit darnider werffen“.
Mainly I was impressed about the Fortress drawings he made of the city Ravenna of which he depicts lots of impressing arguments about space and how to deal with it in a meaningful way. Also he explains how the fortresses are located: for example on cliffs, where their whole area consists of buildings. Also they have seaports and huge walls which encircle the inner corner of the fortresses. The fortresses, located on the sides of the bay where the port lays, protect the seaport and alert when unwanted boats try to cross the border. This can be found on pages 156. Pictures of the star form floor plan of the fortresses are to be found between page 156 and 157.
In my opinion Furrtenbachs well made analyse of fortresses stems from his passion of military construction and mechanics. Therefore he is fascinated with the great way in which Italians are able to combine military defences with Architectural beauty. Form me this seem like he is trying to say that “hiding something dangerous and useful behind the beauty of art and knowledge” is the real deal. In fact Italians love everything that is beautiful but still has meaning. Being able to combine those two aspects, useful and beautiful, is for me the best way one could design its building and deal with space. Also Furrtenbach says that not only the buildings have meaning, are useful and still beautiful, but the also are near indestructible. This means they will preserve in time and could be used as base and proof of that knowledge which will be passed on to the next generations.